Regal-Select-Interior-Review

Benjamin Moore Regal Interior House Paint Review

Regal Select is one of Benjamin Moore’s most notable product lines. It undoubtedly provides a lower price than Aura while remaining one of the best interior wall paints.

First introduced in 1957Regal has had a long history of success and continues to retain its high standard, but like other paint lines, it has had a few hiccups along the way.

Trailing Aura Interior, Regal remains one of the best-performing interior paints you can buy. In many ways, it straddles BM paint lines perfectly in terms of price and ease of use, making it arguably the better option. 

Benjamin Moore Regal Reformulations

Regal Classic remains the best version of Regal Interior. Since it is no longer available due to reformulations to meet environmental standards, newer versions have been introduced since its discontinuation in 2011

To reduce manufacturing costs, paint companies abroad are reducing the use of raw materials such as TO2. Therefore, the Regal line has lost its hide and coverage over time across various reformulations. For painters new to Regal, these performance declines are likely not noticeable, which are most evident in stock white colors commonly used for trim paint. 

Class-leading coverage and ease of application have been a lifelong staple for all Benjamin Moore interior paints. However, when Regal Select was introduced, it dried too quickly, didn’t level, was too thin, suffered from spattering, and left heavy brush marks, which were uncharacteristic for BM.

BM-Regal-Interior-Reformulations

But Regal Classic wasn’t perfect either. Despite being easy to clean from brushes and rollers, Regal Classic had a long history of poor surface adhesion. Regal Select Interior improves adhesion performance, and in 2018, BM increased its viscosity, reducing spattering. However, the thicker version imposed yet another issue, with large amounts of solids drying and settling to the bottom of the can, preventing the colorant from being able to be shaken to consistency.

Later, in 2021, BM addressed all issues, including Classic’s long history of surfactant leaching. After ten years, Regal Select Interior has regained the application characteristics that all painters have grown to expect.

Rolling Performance

For interior drywall, the best roller thickness to use for Regal is a 3/8 nap. Depending on the surface, heavier textured walls require a 1/2 nap or more. These standard roller sizes are accessible to painters, who will likely already have them. 

Most should find rolling Regal Select Interior manageable even by inexperienced painters despite its quick dry time. It also levels smooth, minimizing paint texture on walls. However, the most advanced feature of Regal is its uniform coverage. 

It maintains a consistent finish over primed drywall patches, doesn’t show roller lap marks, and brushed areas are consistent with rolled areas. The consistency of the paint sheen makes Regal Select Interior stand out as one of the best interior wall paints in its class.

Brushing Performance

There are two significant factors when considering how well an interior paint brushes. The first is how well the paint covers, and the second factor is how well the brush marks level out.

Regal Select’s leveling and open time have greatly improved since its introduction. But the standard Regal Classic created leaves a bit to be desired from the new formulations. However, compared to other interior paint offerings, Select is on par and considered a high performer in paint leveling by today’s standards.

Regal-Select-Application-Usage

There is no issue brushing interior walls, even around some of the most detailed and small spaces. The newest formulation from 2021, becoming widespread in 2022, is the easiest to manipulate in over ten years, and we appreciate the ease of use returning as one of Regals’ strong suites.

Usage & Coverage

Interior paint coverage is highly affected by the color. Dark and medium colors will naturally cover better than white, high-reflective, red, or yellow. Therefore, interior paints are best tested for coverage without adding colorant. While coverage has improved since 2011, we still find that Regal could use more pigment when painting white or light colors.

Interior trim paint finishes are commonly semi-gloss, and Regal Select Semi-Gloss dries flat and is easy to brush and spray on baseboards, doors, and trim surfaces. Since the paint dries slightly slower than its 2018 predecessor, it allows painters more time and opportunities to correct mistakes, and the heavier viscosity reduces the chance of the paint drips.

Cleaning paint from paint brushes and rollers is not as easy as before, but we appreciate the increased adhesion and resistance to surfactant leaching. This performance enhancement allows quicker usage of freshly painted bathrooms or other areas that could expose the latex paint to high moisture or humidity during drying or curing.

Cons:

  • Not Good for Cabinets 
  • Not the Best for Flat Ceiling Paint
  • Not a Low-Priced Paint

Pros:

  • High-Performing Wall Paint 
  • Easy Brushing, Rolling, & Spraying Applications
  • Low VOC, Antimicrobial, Improved Durability & Adhesion

Our First-Time Experience Using Regal

We stumbled upon Regal in 2010 when a client asked if we could use it on her home. As dedicated SW users at the time, we willingly said yes. We opened an account at our local BM store, and the store clerk and owner’s enthusiasm for the paint was infectious. The excitement and anticipation created a high expectation for its performance. 

Our first usage of Regal was mind-blowing. White semi-gloss trim paint covered dark scuffs and smudges with one coat. Brushes were easy to clean, and due to its outstanding paint coverage overall, we reduced our paint usage by over 50%

The following year, over 60% of our interior paint purchases were from BM, and we have continued recommending and writing articles about our experience since then. 

Conclusion

Carpenters rarely rave about a hammer or nails, and this example is true for painters. We only mention or get excited about products we use when they change our workflow. 

Regal Select most certainly increased our expectations for interior paint performance. And while it is unlikely to meet its previous standard, Regal Select continues to excite us every time we use it. 

Regal’s performance is at a level that makes interior painting less labor-intensive and provides an outstanding, long-lasting finish.

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